Monday, September 29, 2008

Leif - Italy - Fall 2008

Upon arriving the staff took all of us to an Italian villa and vinyard called Torrezetta which is located outside the city. This was extremely helpful in the sense it was our orientation but also because everyone in the program had nothing to do but get to one another. We had apertivos, authentic Italian three course meals, and were able to swim and explore the countryside. We stayed there for three days and gained valuable knowledge about living and studying in Italy for next several months.
Milan itself is a very beautiful and very large city with many opportunities for students. It has many very well regarded universities and is vital to Italy in terms of business, fashion, industry, design, literature, art, and so forth. If you are hoping to learn Italian it is also a great place to be merely because it is not one of the more touristy places within Italy and few Milanese citizens speak english. I was the only student this semester to have traveled to a foreign country without possessing some knowledge of the language. Regardless, I can honestly say that adjusting was relatively easy. At times it becomes difficult merely because everything is in Italian, ie cooking directions, websites, metra schedules, etc. Yet, the people here, even strangers go to great extents to help me. For example, after asking a woman on a bike where I could find a place to convert dollars to euros she told me she was very sorry but she did not know. Eventually she rode several blocks back to where I was just to tell me she had found a bank that would convert money. Experiences like these have happened severals times and it is surprising to me, especially because I am in a large city where people are generally more distant. I also really appreciate the friends I have made here. The students represent over thirty states and are very interesting and sincere. Many times we will tour Milan, have dinner and wine at someone's apartment,go to clubs, or take a day trip to a close town such as Parma,Lake Como, or the Alps. Please let me know if you have any questions about study abroad especially those regarding Italy.


Anonymous Dan Bak said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog and I myself have recently visited Milan and can speak to having some similar experiences. The city of Milan as you said is extremely beautiful especially the Duomo in the center of the city. The people that I met in Milan were fantastic and very helpful. Enjoy the rest of your time in Milan it is truly a magnificent city.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan, I appreciate it.


2:03 PM  
Anonymous Lauren Williams said...

Hey Leif! I can't believe you're in Italy for the semester..That's amazing. I have been to both Rome and Venice on different backpacking never Milan. It sounds like you are having an awesome time, I was wondering why I never saw you around school anymore. Hope everything goes wonderfully..I'll be in Australia next semester. So I guess I'll see you in the fall! Ciao!

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Tony Stavropoulos said...

Glad your doing well, buddy. It sounds like you're having a blast in Italy. I didn't know you went overseas until reading your blog. Quick question, how long is your study abroad program and what program are you traveling with? I'm going to be in Amsterdam with IES next spring, and I'm wondering what to expect. Also, how are your classes? They anything like E.C.? Hope all is well. Take care bro.
-Tony Stavropoulos-

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bud it is good to hear from you. I am in Milan for a little longer than three months and I am using the IES program. IES is very professional and for the most part I like it a lot. The classes are certainly different. It is mainly a mid-term, a final, and a few papers that you have to write. You will do fine, just be sure to study a little each day. For me the difficulty was getting classes to transfer even though I had pre-registered back home. There were dropped courses, overlapping times, etc. Try to make sure you have a few options that will transfer easily. Tony I know it is a pain to apply for a program, visa, and all the other paper-work but I assure you it will be well worth it. Best of luck in Amsterdam bud, I hope to see you when you get back.


5:17 PM  

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